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Zac Coffey, a 2009 Boulder Creek High School graduate was one of four Americans accepted to the theater program at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama for the 2010-2011 school year.

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Local teen wins prestigious scholarship

MARC BUCKHOUT ~ MANAGING EDITOR ~ 8/5/2010

What do Anthem, Arizona, Interlochen, Michigan and Glasgow, Scotland have in common?
If 19-year old Zac Coffey has it his way the three locales will be stops on the way to a professional acting career.
Come the fall Coffey will be heading to Glasgow to begin study at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Earlier this year Coffey was one of only four U.S. residents and 12 students from around the world accepted into the school’s theater program for the 2010-2011 school year.
“It was a really intense audition experience,” he said. “It’s one of the top schools in the world so I thought it would be a stretch, but I got a call back for the next day. When I went in they had me sing and then they kept me around to do a monologue and they kept working with me. That was a good sign. We worked well together I thought so that made me hopeful.”
When the 2009 Boulder Creek graduate got word he had been accepted it was another step toward what has been almost a life-long goal.
“I can’t remember ever wanting to do anything else,” he said. “I just love everything about theater. Every aspect is exciting to me. I love rehearsing for hours and hours. As for performing, there’s nothing like the rush of being on stage in front of an audience.”
Coffey, who estimates he has 40 plus shows to his credit, said that his time in high school solidified his career goal.
“My drama teacher at Boulder Creek cast me in the very first show Boulder Creek ever did,” he said. “Even though I was only a freshman she cast me in a good role, which was just the push I needed.”
After graduating from Boulder Creek he spent the last year studying at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, looking to add experience that could give him the opportunity to get into a top notch school.
“It was eight hours of theater each day,” he said. “It was paradise.”
While he is similarly excited to delve deeper into his craft in Scottland, coming up with the cost to pay tuition is a daunting task.
With that challenge ahead of him Coffey has turned to the local theater community to help him raise money for school.
Through his ties with Musical Theatre of Anthem a show entitled “Zac’s Life is a Cabaret!” will be performed at 7 p.m. Aug. 15 at the Persimmon Restaurant in Anthem Country Club.
“We’re going to have professional vocalists from around the Valley,” Coffey said. “We’ve got Zoni Award winners, Broadway performers and then some of the MTA students will be doing a medley of Andrew Lloyd Webber songs. I got to hear them just the other day for the first time and their performance blew me away.”

MTA Producing Artistic Director Jackie Hammond, who has been teaching music and theater for the last 15 years, said she was happy to assist one of her long-time students.

“Art schools are always competitive, but to be accepted as one of only four Americans says all you need to know about what kind of talent Zac is,” Hammond said. “He is so unique. He has a sense of humor and creativity that is unmatched. He’s truly gifted. And it’s not just as an actor. He’s a good writer, puts together great video montages, he’s just good at thinking outside the box. I think he could make a great director one day.”
As for the next step toward his career goal Coffey is a mixture of emotions.
“A little nervous obviously,” he said. “It will be a culture I know very little about, but at the same time from the research I’ve done and what I’ve been told Glasgow has a thriving arts culture and is a beautiful city. And then on the weekends I’ll have the opportunity to hop on a train and see so many other great cities that aren’t far away. I couldn’t be more excited.”
He’s also eagerly anticipating improving his skills.
“I’m guessing they were interested in me because I’m pretty funny,” he said. “In a class of 12 performers I think I fill that role pretty well. Those have usually been the roles I’ve played. This past summer though I played a more dramatic role and have had some experience with that, stretching out my acting to some new places. It’s trial by error. I’m looking to stretch my skills even further and learn as much as I can.”

Tickets for the Aug. 15 show cost $36 and include appetizers, desserts and drinks. Proceeds from the show will go toward the cost of tuition. For information or to purchase tickets go to www.zcabaret.com. For other information call Zac at 623-570-9394.